Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2019

Department 1

Political Science


Ideological moderation is often assumed to inform a candidate's electability. This article examines the effects of a voters’ perceptions of a candidate’s ideology on the voters’ belief in the candidate’s ability to win the election. Using data from the American National Election Survey from 2008 and 2016, the paper compares the effect of the perceived ideology of a candidate and individuals' predictions about the candidate that will win. Opinions regarding Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Donald Trump are analyzed. The results suggest that for the Democratic candidates, voters who believed them to be more moderate or conservative were more likely to believe they would win than those who thought they were more liberal. However, the results suggested no similar relationship existed for the Republican candidates with no effect of ideological moderation on election outcome predictions.


Written for POL 215: Methods of Political Science.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License